If you completed the Radament's Lair quest and picked up the Horadric Scroll, Cain will tell you about the Horadric mages of old, who crafted fierce staves and imbued them with the power to unlock Tal Rasha's burial chamber. However, after nearly losing such a staff to a thief rogue sorcerer, the Horadrim decided to sever the staves into two parts and scatter the pieces so they could be safeguarded, and to prevent the key to Tal Rasha's Tomb from falling into the wrong hands. It is your quest to find Tal Rasha's Tomb, where Baal lies imprisoned, so you set out on a search for the two pieces that comprise the Horadric Staff: the shaft and the headpiece, as well as an ancient artifact, the Horadric Cube, that can transmute the pieces into a Horadric Staff. If you didn't complete the Radament's Lair quest, then talk to Cain after you have retrieved the Horadric Cube.
The Horadric Cube is hidden deep within the Halls of the Dead in the Dry Hills. There is a waypoint hidden on level 2. Be prepared to battle your way through legions of Undead and many other hellish fiends. The Cube is located in a golden chest on level 3 that is guarded by Bloodwitch the Wild. After getting the Cube, you may return to town and speak with Deckard Cain. He will tell you the purpose of the cube, as well as other useful information about it. The most important of which is the fact that you can use the cube to transmute items into better items.
After obtaining the Horadric Cube, it is time to travel to the Far Oasis. Here you must find the Maggot Lair. The entrance looks like a tunnel dug into the sand dunes. In it you will encounter loads of insect-like enemies, such as Sand Maggots, Scarab Demons and Swarm insects. Make your way through the circular tunnels until you reach level 3. At the bottom of the Maggot Lair lies the super unique Sand Maggot matriarch, Coldworm the Burrower. This boss has the ability to spawn full grown Sand Maggot monsters, so be ready for a serious fight. After you manage to defeat her, open the golden chest in the room. In it you will find the Staff of Kings, the shaft portion of the Horadric Staff.
Now it is time to get the headpiece and complete the Horadric Staff. When you travel to the Lost City, located off the Far Oasis, a sudden eclipse darkens the sky, and the quest notification button pops up. This triggers The Tainted Sun quest, and both quests conveniently have the same destination, the Claw Viper Temple. The Temple is hidden within the Valley of Snakes, adjacent to the Lost City, and is filled with demonic Claw Viper and Salamander monsters. Make your way to the second level. Here you will find another more Claw Vipers and a super unique monster called Fangskin. Defeat the monsters and break the altar. Not only does this complete the Tainted Sun quest, but it also yields the Viper Amulet, the missing headpiece of the Horadric Staff.
Now that you have gathered all the pieces, it is time to recreate the Horadric Staff. Place the Staff of Kings and the Viper Amulet inside the Horadric Cube and transmute them.
Later, once you have found the Canyon of the Magi and the True Tomb of Tal Rasha, you must search for a magical orifice hidden deep within the tomb. The orifice is located in a chamber with symbols of the Seven Tombs on the floor. Place the Horadric Staff within the orifice and behold as the entrance to Tal Rasha's burial chamber is revealed.
NPC Quest Dialog
Quest Activation Dialog
Cain: "Ahh... The Lost Horadric Scroll! What a fortunate turn of events...As the last living Horadrim, I alone have knowledge of it's meaning. Now, to read the Horadric runes it bears... Hmmmm... The Horadric Mages, after binding Baal within Tal Rasha, magically sealed off his Burial Chamber from the mortal realm. Those same Mages also crafted fearsome Horadric Staves and imbued them with the special power to open the Chamber's hidden door. After nearly losing one to the thievery of a rogue sorcerer, they divided all the Horadric Staves into two parts - wooden shaft and metal headpiece - hiding them seperatly to safeguard them. The Horadrim foresaw our current plight and designed the hiding places to reveal themselves to worthy heroes like you. Collect both parts of a Horadric Staff and unite them using a Horadric Cube. Then, you may enter Tal Rasha's Burial Chamber."
Objective Successful (The Horadric Cube)
Cain: "You have quite a treasure there in that Horadric Cube. According to Horadric lore, the Cube can restore a Horadric Staff. To do it - use the Cube as you would a scroll. When the Cube opens, place both pieces of the Staff into it and use the Cube's transmute power. You'll be pleased to know that the Cube has other alchemical uses as well... Six gems plus one sword transmute into a socketed long sword. You may also transmute two quivers of crossbow bolts into one quiver of arrows, while two quivers of arrows yield one quiver of bolts. I must leave it to you to discover other formulae."
Objective Successful (The Staff of Kings)
Cain: "The Staff of Kings! You astound me, my friend. You have discovered the shaft portion of a Horadric Staff. I trust you know how to use a Horadric Cube to unite the shaft with its headpiece."
Objective Successful (The Viper Amulet)
Cain: "The Viper Amulet you bear is actually the headpiece of a Horadric Staff! Yes...You have an uncanny knack for finding rare and valuable artifacts. Of course, you'll have to use a Horadric Cube to combine the headpiece with the shaft."
Cain: "Excellent! You have a Horadric Staff. Carry it with you into Tal Rasha's Tomb. Find within the Tomb the chamber whose floor is inset with the Circle of Seven Symbols. Place the Staff into the receptacle you find there. That will open the secret passage into Tal Rasha's Burial Chamber. But, be prepared for a fight - you'll likely have to kill Tal Rasha to destroy Baal."
Maggot Lair Find: "What is that strange mound?"
Maggot Lair Complete: "These sand maggots sure have good taste in equipment."
Tainted Sun (when darkness comes): "Great, an eclipse. This just keeps getting better and better."
Claw Viper Temple Entry: "I hope I know what I'm doing."
Viper Amulet Altar Break: "Let there be light."